Thursday, 26 February 2015

Neill Blomkamp's Alien is a direct sequel to Aliens



Game over! Director Neill Blomkamp confirms his Alien movie will be a sequel to James Cameron's Aliens during an interview, promoting Chappie, with Sky Movies.

Franchise star Sigourney Weaver, currently starring in Chappie, is keen to reprise her role as Ellen Ripley. "I would love to take Ripley from orbiting around in space and give a proper finish to what was such an excellent story."

This is what Blomkamp said during a Q&A with EW: "Over the years, I came up with a story for a film in that universe that I wanted to make. And then when I talked to her about her experience making those films and what she thought about Ripley and everything else, it informed and changed the film I wanted to make into something different. It just sort of stuck with me. A year later, when post-production was winding down on ‘Chappie,’ I started fleshing out the idea for a film that would contain Sigourney. Fox never knew. I just worked on it when I could. Before I knew it, I had this really awesome film with a lot of artwork and a lot of backstory. And then I didn't know whether I was going to make it or not. So I just kind of sat on it for a while."

More and more directors are leveraging social media and Blomkamp's is a marketing masterclass comparable to fellow genre auteurs JJ Abrams, Bryan Singer and Zack Snyder.

Does it bother you Alien³ and Alien Resurrection will be ignored? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Introducing LEGO Star Wars Buildable Figures



During this year's New York Toy Fair, LEGO introduced a new line of buildable figures based on Star Wars.

Expanding the way children can build and play within the Star Wars universe, new large scale Buildable Figures unveiled – sets featuring, among others, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker ($19.99 & $29.99 to be launched in September). Additional Buildable Figures in the collection will be unveiled throughout the year. The Battle for the galaxy will get bigger!

These remind me of Microman (AKA Micronauts) from Takara Tomy. What do you think?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Darth Vader returns for Star Wars Rebels finale



Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, returns in the season finale of Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD. The episode is entitled Fire Across the Galaxy and is broadcast on March 2nd.

The first season of Star Wars Rebels has been terrific fun; boasting cameos by beloved cast members from the original Star Wars trilogy. Harrison Ford is rumoured to reprise his role as Han Solo in the second series. This would be poignant in the lead up to the theatrical release of JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens this December.

Looking forward to seeing Darth Vader again? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. teases Marvel's Inhumans



Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns from its mid-season break, on March 3rd, with Skye discovering her quaking powers as an Inhuman.

“My whole life, I wanted a family” intones Skye as the latest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. trailer begins, which premiered during the Oscars telecast. “S.H.I.E.L.D. took me in. They trained me to be an agent, but there was something inside of me, something I didn't even know was there. Something possibly… Inhuman. And if it gets out, nothing will ever be the same.”



Inhumans isn't hitting cinema screens until November 2018, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s story arc will whet fans appetite.

If, like me, you stopped watching early in season 1, may I suggest you go back and watch from episode 10, The Bridge. The series goes from strength to strength and there's tie-ins with the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Looking forward to seeing Skye's powers in action? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Star Wars Rebels actress joins Guardians of the Galaxy



Marvel has announced the cast for its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy animated series on Disney XD and it includes Star Wars Rebels actress Vanessa Marshall (Gamora) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars veteran actor James Arnold Taylor (Yondu/Cosmo).



“The cast for the new GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY animated series has all of us at Marvel animation very excited. These are some of the best, boldest and funniest voices in the business,” said Marvel’s VP, Current Animation, Stephen Wacker. “All of us here at Marvel Animation Studios are working around the clock to bring you an over-the-top, action-packed show worthy of the biggest film of 2014. We can't wait for you to see it!”

The Guardians of the Galaxy animated series will debut on Disney XD later this year.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Neill Blomkamp to direct Alien



In January District 9 director Neill Blomkamp posted his original concept art for Alien on Instagram, which attracted the attention of fans, across the globe, in the hopes the beleaguered franchise may return to its nightmarish roots...

“So I think this is officially my next film,” the director wrote on Instagram.

Trade paper Variety then confirmed Blomkamp has inked a deal with 20th Century Fox to direct the next Alien movie. This is unrelated to producer Ridley Scott's Prometheus 2.

District 9 and Elysium had rich political subtexts that failed to deliver on their initial premise. Both movies descended into generic Hollywood blockbuster fare in the final act.

However, the notion of another Alien movie, pitting the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, is mouthwatering. There's going to be xenomorphs and, possibly, Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley. What's not to like?

It's speculated the new movie will be a reboot a la JJ Abrams' Star Trek and follows events depicted in James Cameron's, seminal sequel, Aliens. Fans of the series will find out in 2016.

Can Blomkamp resurrect Alien? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy series coming to Disney XD



Marvel's teased its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy animated series on Twitter. The Disney-owned company officially announced the series at New York Comic Con in 2014.

Little is known about the new Disney XD series, but it's rumoured to tie-in with James Gunn's blockbusting movie.

Expect more announcements from Marvel this week.

Excited to see Star-Lord and friends on the small screen? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 13 February 2015

JJ Abrams will kick off Star Wars Celebration



Following months of intense speculation as to whether or not the next trailer for The Force Awakens would premiere during Star Wars Celebration. It looks like the answer is yes.

Director JJ Abrams with producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy will kick off the event in a "big way" this April.

For J.J. Abrams, the Star Wars Celebration circle is now complete.

StarWars.com is thrilled to announce that the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens — who once attended Star Wars Celebration as a fan — is confirmed to appear at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim this April. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy will kick off the show in a big way on Thursday morning, April 16, at 10:00 a.m. This will be a day long remembered.


Read the full announcement on Starwars.com.

Are you going to Star Wars Celebration? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers



This retro review, originally published in SFX and Starburst magazines, harks back to a time before director Peter Jackson favoured bloated spectacle as evidenced by The Hobbit trilogy...

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie

The diluted darkness of the Star Wars prequels is eclipsed by Sauron’s shadow in The Two Towers!

Director Peter Jackson reprises the narrative cue of Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back) and, forsaking any introduction, embarks on a deeper, introspective and urgent deconstruction of the psychology that underpins the now fragmented fellowship; the Ring’s seduction of Frodo, the tragedy of Gollum (a true synthespian) and the heroics of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen a revelation), Gimli and Legolas.

Visually. Rivendell’s redolent beauty is replaced by nightfall, ruin and decay. The Elves, in their haste to elude Sauron, accelerated the corruption of the landscape. This aesthetic is maintained throughout most of the film and recapitulates the theme of darkness falling, but light is not entirely driven into shadow.

The battle at Helm’s Deep delivers in ways that no Clone War could ever emulate - an epic confrontation from a very human perspective. In between the moments of dark reflection there are those that are life-affirming. None has more poignancy than that of Gandalf’s return.

If there is a fly in the ointment; it is the Balrog! This ‘mythical’ beast appears to have escaped from a console game and should have evoked memories of the T-Rex attack from Jurassic Park.

Despite my serious reservations surrounding this project. Peter Jackson has surprised and delighted with both Fellowship and Towers. Will it be three times the charm or will the trials of the trilogy be insurmountable even for this master of the ring?

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Spider-Man swings into the Marvel Cinematic Universe



My spider-sense is tingling. Sony and Marvel have agreed to bring the beloved web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Sony retains control.

Alas, Andrew Garfield will not be standing side-by-side with Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey, Jr. and friends in Captain America: Civil War. Andrew Garfield acquitted himself well as Peter Parker and will be missed.

"We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans."

This is a smart move for Sony Pictures. The studio has, arguably, driven the Spider-Man franchise into the ground, creatively, due to its historical deal with Marvel. The theatrical rights would revert back to the Disney-owned company if Sony stopped producing endless reboots with mixed results. Fans were poorly served, for the most part, and the box office reflected that.

“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” says Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in the announcement. “Amy has been deeply involved in the realisation on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel’s involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.”

Going forward. It'll be interesting to see whether or not Fox announces a similar deal with Marvel to take The X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises into the MCU fold.

Due to the addition of Spider-Man. Marvel's release schedule for Phase III is subject to change.

Are you stoked Spider-Man is joining the Avengers? Let me know in the comments below.